Daycare worker delivers miracle — unexpected baby arrival at Mississippi church academy

Published 3:25 pm Thursday, May 9, 2024

By Davis Coen

Local daycare employee Santerrica Clay had celebrated her birthday, and lost her best friend during the week leading up to Thursday, April 11, when she arrived to work at Oxford Kinder Academy, not expecting the circumstances that would soon unfold.  

A former student at Oxford High and Northwest Community College, Clay has been at Kinder Academy — a ministry of Christ the Rock Apostolic Church — since 2021, but nothing prepared her for delivering her co-worker Tekeyiah Taylor’s baby that morning, besides a pure love for children and her experience as a mother of two

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Clay recalled Taylor arriving to work late because she was in pain, and advised her friend to stay seated as much as possible.  Taylor sent Clay a text around 9:30 a.m. saying that she might go home to rest for an appointment later that afternoon, to which she replied that she would find someone to relieve her.  

This was followed by another text around 9:45 a.m. – sent from the lavatory – saying that she had to leave “immediately” and drive herself to Baptist Memorial Hospital, four miles away. 

Clay barely had a minute to react before she received another urgent text, which said “I think my baby’s coming.”  And a couple minutes later another, asking where she was.

She replied that she was calling an ambulance, which was quickly dispatched, and that she would come check on her.   

“When I got to her, she said ‘can you see anything?’  I said ‘yes, I can see his head.  His head is right there.  We’re going to have to do this now.  We can’t wait.’” 

Clay then requested that the church pastor, Brother Williams, retrieve some towels and blankets, and some other fellow co-workers hold Taylor up.  The delivery took about ten minutes.  

“He was fine.  Everything went well,” said Clay.  A few minutes later the EMTs arrived, and commended her and her co-workers on how they handled the situation.

“I knew the baby had to come,” she said.  “I’ve never experienced anything like this at all.  Not even with my own kids.”

Daycare Director Courtney Hill, whose father is also the church pastor, said she had never seen the likes of this in her workplace, since becoming a daycare provider in 2018.  Also that nothing remotely similar had occurred at the church in its 30 years of existence. 

“We have a church, a Christian school, and a daycare, and in all aspects of ministry that have happened here there has never been an event like this,” she said, laughing. 

“Several people jumped into action once the baby was here,” said Hill.  “Everybody just pitched in.  “You don’t know what to do in a situation like that, but everybody handled it in the best possible way.”  

Baby King has been blessing Kinder Academy with weekly visits, and delightfully will be enrolled at the daycare as soon as Taylor concludes her maternity leave and returns to work.